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Windjammer love it or hate it?


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Not a fan when we first started cruising but learned to like at as a good standby option when the "schedule" didnt agree with the idea of a sit down dinner at a set time.

Actually upgraded WJ to my "go-to" on my series of Mariner cruises last year ... they really stepped up the variety and the quality and it was great to just wander over when you were ready rather than having to plan to abandon the pool, get cleaned up, etc. in order to make a scheduled dinner break.

 

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We can never be friends. Bacon is supposed to be soft and chewy! Extra crispy is a fried chicken option.

For me the Windjammer is like going to Walmart.  Sometimes its a necessity but you really don't enjoy the experience lol 

As I started cruising multiple times per month and spending over 100 nights at sea per year several years in a row I stopped visiting the MDR.  I've gone months and only ate in the WJ, three meals per

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i don't mind the Windjammer, because they have a variety and different dinner themes that you can't get in the dinning room.  For example, I like german food and have on numerous occasions found jägerschnitzel on the buffet, Seafood...ie steamed shrimp, clams and various other items for when you don't want a lot, without going to a specialty dinnng venue. Call me an oddball, it wouldn't be the first time. 🤣

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:38 AM, Yo2slick said:

Honestly, I think doing away with the buffet and completely changing our way of life is ridiculous.  If you don't like the buffet then dont go.  There are plenty of other options available.  Covid-19 isn't the end of the world and some of the responses and policy changes over the last couple of months is going to set a dangerous precedent moving forward.  I can't wait for our next cruise but if the onboard experience is going to change drastically then I can't see spending money on a trip I will not enjoy.  Time will tell I guess. 

I *assume* once there is a vaccine and it's available for the "mass market" the windjammer will fall back to the way it was. Life on land will too be different for the foreseeable future.

On 5/17/2020 at 10:10 AM, twangster said:

As I started cruising multiple times per month and spending over 100 nights at sea per year several years in a row I stopped visiting the MDR.  I've gone months and only ate in the WJ, three meals per day.  I've never gotten sick on a ship and consider myself a WJ aficionado. 

I understand why people who cruise less frequently enjoy the MDR or specialty dining so I don't mean to challenge anyone's approach to cruising, to each their own.  For myself cruising often the WJ approached more to how I eat meals at home when I'm not on a ship offering both a faster dining experience as well as better choices to eat more healthy and smaller meals.  I could fashion a salad to my liking and add some proteins of the day for variety.  Had I eaten all those dinners in the MDR I'd surely be twice my current size.   

WJ dinners with fewer guests during evening hours have become a wonderful approach to dinner for the frequent cruiser and as I interacted with other frequent cruisers I discovered I wasn't alone in this approach to dining on board skipping the MDR each evening.

Having said all that I understand that a return to cruising in this day of the virus means examining everything on board to seek opportunities to reduce risk and spread.  Just because I never got sick some months spending more days at sea than on land doesn't mean there wasn't risk of illness present.

It saddens me that my beloved WJ must change but that is a change I understand and will embrace as a means to allow cruising to resume.  

We too share similar feeling about the Windjammer @twangster. In the beginning we packed the fancy clothing and did the sit down style eating. First Royal Caribbean cruise we got linked with a table for 6, but only 3 others made it nightly, 2 being a couple; We are still good friends with that couple to this day. However, without going into detail, we lost the taste for the traditional random seating. We did enjoy mytime dining but even that became an ordeal. Two hour dinners every night isn't our style at home and definitely not at sea...especially if it's just the two of us sailing. We just spent the entire day together, no need for an intimate meal, let's eat without the schedule and see where the rest of the night takes us. (We do try and have a few meals at specialty dining).

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For dinner, we like the MDR for dinner and have never gone to the Windjammer.

For lunch, we do go sometimes for the convenience and variety. I find it varies by ship if I like it or not.  It was good on Symphony.  Didn't love it on Mariner.  The MDR has a great lunch on sea days....although that is mostly due to the Tutti Frutti salad bar, which is buffet too.  So would be same issue.

For breakfast, we do enjoy the Windjammer.  It has great selection of hot and cold and quicker than sit down.  Our kids especially only like the Windjammer for breakfast and will protest the MDR.  Solarium is also a hit, but same thing, a buffet.  I should say that DH and I really like the MDR for breakfast, but if with our kids, we tend to stick with Windjammer or Solarium.

For snack, we will sometimes pop into the Windjammer after coming back from port or if by the pool and grab an afternoon snack.  Huge variety (which makes the decisions hard too...lol)

Will have to see how they transform the Windjammer.  If it's the same but they have someone serving, we will put on our patients hats and go.  Not sure if it will be more like Cafe Promenade or a full sit down. Can see them using the space though is some form to help with social distancing. Of course, they would need more staff.

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I like it for breakfast.  And if we have a late departure from a port and miss our MDR time we went to WJ to get something for dinner.  We discovered the MDR option for breakfast a couple cruises ago and like that too.    It’ll definitely be a change but as some have mentioned the craziness at certain times in WJ with people eating in line and then touching the spoons and I’ve seen on a handful of occasions a person licking their fingers and then handling the utensils.    That kinda turns your stomach but some folks just don’t understand common sense or courtesy and I get it.
 

but, considering the circumstances we are all in now it’s a new world.   They will come up with a workable plan to handle it.   

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I am not a big fan of the Windjammer, PLEASE do not get me wrong, I do enjoy eating there but I am not a fan of how absolutely disgusting some people are that go in there.  I mainly eat breakfast in there as well as stop in to get a plateful of their delectable oatmeal raisin cookies to munch on throughout the day.  I would gladly go without the WJ for awhile in order to keep everyone safe, I must say that I will miss getting onboard and having lunch and and debarkation breakfast but I am sure that they will have something else set up. I also wonder what they will do to feed people on places like CocoCay and Labadee since its basically a buffet day.  I hope that they have something suitable that is going to be able to handle the masses without having to wait too long.  But either way, it is DEFINITELY better than being at home and cooking myself!!😂😃

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What we enjoy most is the CHOICE..  some nights we eat in the MDR, some, depending on activities and excursions, we eat in WJ. That the choice is now being removed is disappointing. We know it is a breeding ground for germs, but that can be controlled. Make it mandatory to wash hands, not a suggestion. Have hand sanitizer around the area. Change out the serving utensils often. 

We are always careful when we go to WJ. We know it's likely we will pick up something from the area.. so we hold plates with one hand, server with another. When we get to our table, wipe it down and sanitize our hands. Not perfect, but we have never had an issue.

I really do not see WJ being any worse than the elevator, boardwalk, cafe's, the theater etc in regards to covid.  The main way that covid is being past is in droplets, not surfaces.

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On 5/19/2020 at 12:03 AM, bytheslice said:

will bring our own Clorox.  I don't trust what type of bleach the waiters may be serving in the restaurants.

The concern we have is that we keep seeing items being cleaned with the same wipe..  like the grocery carts etc. We saw the person cleaning self checkout with the same piece of cloth over and over and putting it in her pocket. Not sure what the spray they were using, but if we can't smell bleach, then there is no way it is strong enough to make any difference when using the same cloth.. so we bring our own wipes.

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2 hours ago, Scrumps said:

What we enjoy most is the CHOICE..  some nights we eat in the MDR, some, depending on activities and excursions, we eat in WJ. That the choice is now being removed is disappointing. We know it is a breeding ground for germs, but that can be controlled. Make it mandatory to wash hands, not a suggestion. Have hand sanitizer around the area. Change out the serving utensils often. 

We are always careful when we go to WJ. We know it's likely we will pick up something from the area.. so we hold plates with one hand, server with another. When we get to our table, wipe it down and sanitize our hands. Not perfect, but we have never had an issue.

I really do not see WJ being any worse than the elevator, boardwalk, cafe's, the theater etc in regards to covid.  The main way that covid is being past is in droplets, not surfaces.

I wash my hands every time I go to the bathroom, but you'd be shocked at the amount of people who don't, especially the pool bathrooms. Nasty people are gonna be nasty, so for every positive action you take, there are several people negating your efforts.

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Never had a chance to try the Windjammer.  I was looking forward to comparing it to the Garden Cafe on NCL.  We are not buffet lovers, but for fun I was going to try it out.  We would go to main dining or another food option for breakfast and dinner.  The buffet was a quick snack/lunch while at the pool.  I read the WJ has really good Indian food.  I hope there is still a WJ to go to.  I am alright with ordering from a server, iPad, or paper and pencil.  I am interested to see what they do with the space.

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42 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

#what-a-waste-of-perfectly-good-pork

Next you'll tell me you order your filet mignon "very well done" then send it back to be "cooked just a little bit more."

Nope. Filet is medium rare only. But filet is also super-lean and not an exercise in working the jaw muscles to death at that cook.

Same with hamburgers; medium-rare, thanks. My wife and MIL, on the other hand, are lifetime members of the “hockey puck” club. 😏

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49 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Nope. Filet is medium rare only. But filet is also super-lean and not an exercise in working the jaw muscles to death at that cook.

Same with hamburgers; medium-rare, thanks. My wife and MIL, on the other hand, are lifetime members of the “hockey puck” club. 😏

Agreed on all of this AND crispy bacon.. if I am served/only offered glistening, flimsy bacon, I would rather have none at all.

cook those bad boys LOW N' SLOW 

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Last cruise we barely at at the wind jammer . My husband's not a breakfast guy I tried going for breakfast alone one morning couldn't even find a seat to put my bag down. Asked at several full tables and all seats were taken. Ended up going to the cafe promenade instead.

On nav last year we lived at el loco fresh.

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15 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Nope. Filet is medium rare only. But filet is also super-lean and not an exercise in working the jaw muscles to death at that cook.

Same with hamburgers; medium-rare, thanks. My wife and MIL, on the other hand, are lifetime members of the “hockey puck” club. 😏

Okay, maybe we CAN be friends. Medium rare is the way to go for these items. I suppose you would use overcooked bacon on your medium rare bacon cheeseburger, but I'll have to let that slide.

We'll have to agree to disagree on pork products (medium is the way to go - for anything from pork loin to bacon).

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13 hours ago, Kcusack89 said:

Last cruise we barely at at the wind jammer . My husband's not a breakfast guy I tried going for breakfast alone one morning couldn't even find a seat to put my bag down. Asked at several full tables and all seats were taken. Ended up going to the cafe promenade instead.

On nav last year we lived at el loco fresh.

I NEVER have difficulty finding a seat in WJ for breakfast.

Of course, by the end of the cruise if there are already ten people in the WJ before I arrive the washy-washy folks say they were worried because I'm late!

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We've always liked the Windjammer as a quick dining option with decent buffet food and an absolute ton of variety. We only went there a couple of times for breakfast on our last cruise, but will certainly miss the convenience if they turn it into another table service or reservation only option. We always liked having it as an option in a pinch!

Needless to say, the buffet in the Solarium Bistro will have to follow the same rules. We went there for breakfast a number of times on our last cruise. 

 

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